Mr. Stillman's Opus

Mr. Stillman's Opus

Financial and retirement guidance from John Stillman, founder of Rosewood Wealth Management. Serving Durham, Chapel Hill, and the rest of the Triangle. Make sure your finances are designed to deliver you a harmonious retirement.


November 22, 2022 14 min

Getting through retirement can be a lot like running a marathon. While we may not know that through first-hand experience, we can certainly lean on the lessons we’ve learned from family and friends who have succeeded in this endeavor.

On this episode, let’s talk about some of the similarities of getting to the finish line in racing and retirement. Much like in retirement, runners might be able to finish a race without all the plann...

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Whenever we’re faced with a major life event, certain people will have an impact on us and the decisions we make. But when you work with a financial advisor who you’ve built a strong relationship with, they end up being there for all of these key events because of the financial impact they have.

Let’s explore some of the things you should be thinking about to make smart financial decisions when you encounter some of the most signif...

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October 20, 2022 16 min

We always talk about the money side of financial and retirement planning. But what about the mental aspect of that big life change?

Today we’ll break down an article written by a Licensed Professional Counselor (Kate Schroeder) for Psychology Today, titled The Psychological Investment In Retirement. You might be surprised to find out that many financial advisors actually spend significant time on this side of the planning process, ...

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There are plenty of decisions that you’ll make in the retirement planning process that can’t be undone, so you want to make sure that you make the right call. On this episode, we’ll explain why these decisions are so important and can’t be undone.

Here’s some of what you’ll learn on this episode:

  • Why claiming Social Security at 62 isn’t always the right decision. (1:58)
  • What’s important to know about spousal benefits on a pension. (...
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    People have many reasons for procrastinating when it comes to putting a retirement plan together. Let’s explore some of those excuses and why they can be dangerous, and talk about how to overcome them.


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    September 1, 2022 17 min

    You’ve most likely heard plenty of “rules” you’re supposed to follow to retire successfully. Some of these rules are stated so confidently, you’d be crazy not to immediately accept them as fact. But we don’t mind the threat of being called crazy, so let’s dive into some of the most popular retirement “rules of thumb” to see if they truly lead us down the path of good financial guidance or run a chance of leading us astray.



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    April 20, 2021 23 min

    Tim Williams had a little sister, but for 60 years he never knew she existed.

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    March 2, 2021 20 min

    Gary & Nancy Williford hadn't been living in their new home for very long before the unthinkable happened. This is their story about losing their home to a fire, the aftermath and rebuilding process, and how they've been coping ever since.

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    January 6, 2021 37 min

    Jonie & Meme Neddo were a young, interracial couple in rural Tennessee at a time when interracial dating in rural Tennessee wasn't exactly encouraged. This is their story about how they parted ways in 1980 and found their way back to each other more than 25 years later.

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    October 20, 2020 27 min

    Kathy Pittman lost her husband to a brain tumor when her daughters were just 6 and 4. In this episode, she shares her story--dealing with her grief, trying to make ends meet financially, and raising two girls alone.

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    September 29, 2020 26 min

    Jay Campbell is a client of Rosewood Wealth Management who--back in 2003--argued a case before the Supreme Court, representing a group of West Virginia coal miners in the case Doe v. Chao. At a time when the Supreme Court is getting lots of attention from lots of folks, Jay shares his behind-the-scenes story of how the Court really works.

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    September 8, 2020 24 min

    Larry Falivena is a client of Rosewood Wealth Management who has been battling ALS for the last several years. He joins John Stillman in studio to discuss the disease, the emotional and financial effects on his family, and the nationwide tour of all 30 Major League ballparks that he went on last year in an effort to raise funds and awareness.

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    Almost everyone will feel the some effects from the new SECURE Act. Some more immediately than others, but in the grand scheme almost everyone will be affected. Ron and I will help you tackle the new rules as we discuss the two most important components: the changes in stretch IRAs and the new RMD age. The most important thing to keep in mind is communicating with your family about the changes from an estate planning standpoint. Do...

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    November 20, 2019 14 min

    There are actually a lot of principles from the personal training and fitness world that we can apply to retirement planning. Let's explore some similarities and learn how to increase our level of financial fitness. 

    Get the full show notes for this episode at

    On This Episode: 

  • 1:53 - Coaches and Trainers
  • 5:28 - Specific Goals and Training Plans
  • 7:57 - Good Habits and Crunches in the Kitchen
  • 10:52 - The ...
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    November 6, 2019 13 min

    If you're heading out on a road trip, there's a long checklist of items that you want to be sure you haven't forgotten. And in retirement planning, some of those exact same items need to be addressed. Let's look at some of the items that should appear on both your road trip checklist and your retirement planning checklist. 

    Get the full show notes by visiting

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    October 23, 2019 12 min

    If you take a close look at most folks' financial situations, you'll find that it's almost scandalous how badly their financial matters have been handled. Let's talk about  the steps people should take to create a scandal-free retirement. 

    On this episode: 

  • 1:41 - Impeach Consumer Debt
  • 3:51 - Stop the Leaks in your Budget
  • 6:03 - Obstruct Your Catastrophic Market Losses
  • 8:39 - Collude with a Good Advisor
  • G...

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    October 2, 2019 14 min

    What does tennis have to do with retirement? Probably more than you would think. We pulled three aspects to tennis that relate to retirement planning to help you understand the strategy a little better. 

    1. The court is different for singles versus doubles.

    2. Certain players excel on a particular playing surface.

    3. Holding serve is important. 

    So sit back and let us serve up some retirement analogies so you can ace your investing...

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    September 18, 2019 14 min

    We all have one. You can usually find it in the kitchen in one of the bottom drawers. It's that place where we toss rubber bands, paper clips, batteries, chip clips, and any other random item we don't have any other place for. It's our junk drawer and we'd rather avoid it then trying to get it organized. Believe it or not, our financial portfolio has a junk drawer filled with old 401(k) plans, old life insurance pla...

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    There are many similarities between planning for retirement and a game of chess. In this episode, John makes the comparison by explaining which investment option is each chess piece on the board and how they can be used to maneuver you through the game of retirement. 

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    August 13, 2019 13 min

    Remember your senior yearbook that included superlatives like 'Most Popular' and 'Class Clown'? Well, we're taking that idea and applying it to the financial world by picking out the investment options that are 'Most Overrated', 'Most Underrated', 'Most Popular', and 'Most Likely to Disappoint.' 

    Check out the show notes by clicking here

    Today's rundown:

    [1:03] – Class Super...

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